Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, is credited with lighting the first Christmas tree with candles. The story goes ~ while on his way home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. By using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree, he duplicated the starlight. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. In the 1820s, it was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans.
One can only image the challenges of an open flame on a tree that has been cut and is slowly drying out. Thankfully today we have electricity and a (safe) variety of light strings from white lights to full and multiple colours to choose from.
The purpose of the Christmas Tree originally was to celebrate CHRISTMAS, traditionally Catholics did not put the Christmas tree up until after noon on Christmas eve. With retailers capitalizing and commercializing the celebrations of Christmas by lining store shelves with Christmas decorations sometimes as early as October, consumers are
forced tempted to purchase their decorations earlier and earlier, for fear the selection will be gone. Think Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
With the ever increasing commercialization many Christians today spend the entire season of ADVENT celebrating Christmas rather than preparing for it. At the HHL home, we do put up decorations and tree before Christmas eve (guilty like the rest). This year however, we have not put the star on the tree, we will wait until Christmas eve. When little one's ask (you know they notice everything) "where is the star?"The door to conversation about waiting till Christmas eve will open.
Great example of the effects of commercialized Christmas!!!
So, HHL readers ~
When do you put up Christmas decorations, tree, turn on lights?